Tackling Trainee difficulties

Solution focused

  • Focus not on problems, on what the individual lacks, on insight into problem, on cause.
  • Seeking occasions in which an individual is able to think, feel, and act in ways that move them toward better understandings and meaning.
  • Focus on acceptance.

Social constructivist model

  • Social life influences the experiences an individual will have and how that experience will be interpreted
  • Emphasis on the ways people come to make sense of their situation and preferred future
  • Identifies ways people have already achieved understanding that is helpful to them
  • Self reinforcing nature of problems and attempted solutions
  • Attempted solutions can maintain problems
  • Interruption / shift needed in attempt to solve problem


  • Centrality of people’s stories about themselves
  • The opportunity to re-author, to develop rich storied lives rather than thin descriptions
  • The problem is the problem, the person is not the problem


  • A joint venture, a collaboration
  • Questions do not have to have an answer • Aspect of negotiation over questions
  • Process of working open to discussion and explanation
  • Curious, sitting on assumptions, non­normative
  • I am not the authority on someone’s life

What might happen in a session

  • Ask to talk about problem
  • Externalising questions -calling the problem something externalises it
  • Other questions
  • Scaling – “on a scale of 1-10 where are you with this problem?”
  • Documents
  • Outsider witness
  • Reclaim more of the non-problem space

From a lecture by Liz Todd


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